Dell debuted a few laptops aimed at gamers but it also has one that caters more to users doing some serious work. At least when that work involves maintaining servers, developing software, or simply just using Linux. Continuing their nearly decade-long partnership, Dell and Canonical are putting out yet another Ubuntu-powered laptop, this time the XPS 13 Developer Edition, that’s promised to get security updates for up to ten years. Presuming the laptop does last that long, of course.
Linux has been used on more than just servers and embedded computers for decades now but one of its strengths is also somewhat of a weakness. While it can be installed on almost any computer, be it PC or even Macs, support for the myriad combinations of hardware components has largely been a hit or miss.
That’s the appeal of pre-configured computers from the likes of System76, Lenovo, and Dell offer to Linux users who need some amount of commercial assurance. These computers come with guarantees that all of the hardware works in Linux and also has attached warranties and customer support service. That’s the proposition that Dell and Canonical make with the XPS 13 that, admittedly, come with the basics that should work out of the box with most Linux distributions anyway.
In terms of specs, the laptop does run on the latest generation of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, matched with a base configuration of 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The base option also comes with a large non-touch 13.4-inch screen that does only has a resolution of 1920×1200. Canonical says the 52 Whr battery can last up to 18 hours which, given the rather modest specs, isn’t that surprising. Then again, developers do tend to burn through battery life faster more than your usual laptop user.
Aside from the guarantees that come with a pre-configured Linux laptop, Canonical is also dangling the promise of 10 years of security updates, which is actually a standard for Ubuntu Long Term Support or LTS releases anyway. The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition starts at $1,099.99, a price that, of course, doesn’t include any Microsoft tax for Windows or Office.